Jump to content


AD Author
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by EleCivil

  1. When I saw the title, I thought it would be about this guy:
  2. When I moved cross country, I had to sell off everything I owned that didn't fit into my car. Basically, I left with some clothes, a computer, and a guitar, and nothing else to my name. I had to sell off or give away my library. It was tragic. I miss my books.
  3. I always brainstorm outside, loud, and active. Following railroad tracks through the woods while juggling and listening to folk-punk on headphones. Spending hours in the throes of simulated violence at a day-long music festival. Driving across America in 12-hour shifts, screaming along to songs of hope and desperation. Inspiration hits, and the brain starts to go. Once I've got that "spark", I start taking notes on spiral notebooks. It's still fast and violent, and it happens in quick spurts. Much crossing-out, page-tearing, and scribbled diagrams/sketches. When it comes time to finally get things typed out? Cloistered up like a monk. No noise, no distractions, shades drawn.
  4. Back around 2004, Tom Delay came to my city to speak. There were posters for the event all over the Downtown area. My mom was working downtown at the time, and kept drawing devil horns on all the Tom Delay posters in her building until finally they gave up and stopped replacing them. As for heroin-teacher, HOLY HELL, he's making 64k per year AND he's not fired after narco possession charges!? We had to fight just to get a twenty minute lunch break and a handful of sick days! I used to think my branch of the union was strong, but damn.
  5. Pope Francis says that you shouldn't judge gays, atheists can go to heaven as long as they follow their consciences, and that helping the poor is a moral issue. I'm no believer, but this guy seems to be on the good side of the "Christian vs. Christ-like" divide. Full disclosure: I went to a college founded by the Franciscan order (Pope Francis's branch of Catholicism). The nuns there said much the same thing - they believed in gay rights (including marriage equality, even back in the dark ages that were the G.W. Bush years), salvation for those of differing faiths (and no faith), they believed in and taught about evolution and science, they taught about helping the poor. Some of the more traditionalist Catholic students protested the formation of the campus's LGBT Club, but the nuns slapped them down, saying that all people - regardless of race, creed, ability, gender, or sexual orientation - are children of God, and deserving of respect. Again, I'm not about to convert - if you've read Laika or Fistfights with Flashlights, you probably know how I feel about religion - but the Franciscans I've met are pretty cool.
  6. [Tunnel Vision] I’ve rattled sabers with rail yard bulls Shared whiskey with strangers and knuckles with fools. Share knowledge when I’m paid Seek more when I’m broke, And we’ve shared words every way, Even when I never spoke. I’m watching, I’m searching, But my ears are often dulled And if we’ve shared our voices, Who can say if I’ll recall? While Detroit winter froze, I met a writer and an artist Who spend their days in factories And nights creating flawless Works of beauty never shared Outside the walls of their apartment, Now reduced to names and numbers In a locked car’s glove compartment. The tragedy is that I’ll miss A thousand more connections When I put my blinders up Across a thousand intersections. But I’ve come to know the truth In what I heard when I was young: Adventure’s not an end, You’ll never get there if you run. Born brilliant with naiveté Your ignorance is earned When you look to someone and say: “From you, there’s nothing I can learn.”
  7. I love this metaphor, but it's eight whole words long, so I'm not sure if I believe it.
  8. Of course the government is predatory. It's populated, bought, and paid for by those very banks, credit bureaus, and corporations who feel it's okay to throw a 70 year old veteran on the street in the name of canibalism. Er, "capitalism". Sorry, I get those two mixed up.
  9. I love this. The whole set up and delivery model of "Here's a deeply held belief that I know I should follow, BUT..." Goes well with your Janus theme, too.
  10. All good ones! One trick that I used as a writing tutor was to have students read their papers backwards. That helps you catch doubles (the the, then then, etc.) and typos, because it breaks the rhythm that you fall into when you read. Granted, that's more proofing than editing, but both are important if you're writing without an editor.
  11. Most likely. I've been here for 9 years - it'd be weird to leave. Haha. Heh. No, Lev. Rusts isn't happening. I've got some ideas for a new story, but right now, I'm writing a Master's thesis, which is taking up all my free time.
  12. A friend of mine is in the Navy, and was stationed near Syria about a month ago. He told me stories of how his crew would stand on their ship, watching loyalists and rebels alike brutally murdering civilians. The government would lob a missile at an apartment building one day, the rebels would stage a public beheading of non-Muslim "heretics" (assorted civilians rounded up from a Christian church) the next, tearing out their hearts and hanging their bodies in the streets. He was so conflicted, because he felt like he should do SOMETHING, but both sides are populated by murderers committing evil acts. It seems like if we support the Syrian government, or simply do nothing and allow them to steamroll the rebels, we'll be in another Saddam Hussein situation, where we'll have to take him out ourselves in a decade or so. If we help the rebels, we'll be in another Taliban situation, where we'll be giving arms and authority to the same extremists who will likely turn them against us, next (after they execute all the non-Muslims, non-conforming women, and homosexuals, of course). If we don't support the rebels, but take out Assad, we'll create a power vaccuum like we did in Afghanistan, unless we install a puppet, which would just give the rebels better recruiting slogans. If there's a "good" choice, here, I don't see it. But then again, I don't know much. Hopefully, there are people much smarter than myself with much more information who can figure out what the "good" or at least "least-horrible" choice is.
  13. Nice find! I hadn't seen that comic before. It's based off of a performance poem by Taylor Mali - a classic in education circles. Check it out: Nurses are true badasses. They're up there with teachers as far as their "important split-second decisions per minute" ratio and their days of never sitting down. Some of my aunts are nurses, and in college, I picked up tuition money by tutoring all the nursing students in their non-nursing classes. Nothing but respect for nurses, here. Much like Mr. Mali, I've got an "If you ask for it, I'll give it to you" policy. But most people know better than to come at me like that. Here's the thing: I asked students to write poems/raps about the topic we're studying in science. A kid says "Will you do one?" My reply was "I'm a dignified man with a college degree and a necktie. Do you think I would stand up here and humiliate myself, looking like a fool, trying to rap in front of all these people? Just to get you to learn? ...Of course I will. Someone give me a beat." Some kids tell me at the beginning of the year that they hate the subject that I teach. It's a month into school, and they're saying "Can I transfer to more of your classes?" When a kid spent an entire class period trying to shake me, tearing my room apart, I held him after class and taught him to play chess, insisting that he pause and think several steps ahead, predicting the outcomes of his actions. I spoke softly and calmly, making no threats, and he broke down in tears and told me about his home life. When I force students to stay after school in detention, I teach them to juggle, because it's something they thought that they couldn't do, and self-doubt has no damn place in my classroom. My students learn that even gravity can be overcome with practice and determination. When my students come to my class, they learn science, but they also learn the words "please" and "thank you" in a dozen different languages, because gratitude should be universally understood. When I get an idea for a great experiment just before I fall asleep, I get dressed, run to the nearest store, purchase supplies out of my own pocket and spend the rest of the night assembling them, just so I can tell myself that I have done everything within my power to educate those entrusted to me. When it comes time for my students to leave my room, I remind them not explode anything that I wouldn't (though that is an admittedly short list), and more importantly, to love every second they spend between that moment and the one in which we next meet. So, yes, when people try to step to me with that "Teachers aren't real professionals" and "Any idiot can pick up a teacher's edition and teach" and "Lazy teachers with their bloated union" bull, I do that which I do best. I exercise the craft that I have spent years of theoretical study and practical experience sharpening. I school their asses.
  14. Haha. This actually came up in the interview - "Our last science teacher was also our football coach. Can you coach?" "I could probably bluff my way through coaching a chess team. But mostly I'm just really good at teaching science."
  15. Haha, you laugh, but it's kind of true. I'm not supposed to teach evolution. I'm not supposed to teach creationism, either, though. So when kids ask about the origins of life, the universe, and the species, I just say "I don't know. Now put on your goggles, because I want to set something on fire!" Honestly, my department getting cut was the best thing that could have happened to me, professionally speaking. It motivated me to get out of the predatory for-profit education system, out of the ghetto, and into a good union-backed school. Yeah, I miss leaving my friends and family behind on the other side of the country, but it's an adventure, and adventures are rare. You've got to enjoy them when they come.
  16. I feel like I should add something- Though I do see the craziness in ZT policies, I don't see this as "feminization", as the article called it. 90% of my colleages are women, but they aren't a gang of radical straw feminists trying to turn boys into girls - most of them have raised sons, themselves, and those that haven't have still spent years studying child development and working with male students. They understand how boys play, and the importance of allowing such play. No, the problem comes from two points - administrators and school boards terrified of litigation, and politicians focused on raising test scores. Those at the top insist that teachers break up any kind of rough play because they're afraid that a kid will get hurt. The article mentions that this play only turns to real aggression 1% of the time, but all it takes is one incident of a kid getting hurt to get an already underfunded school slapped with a lawsuit. Second, because of the test-mania instituted by Bush Jr. and carried on by Obama and Arne Duncan, kids as young as Kindergarten are being forced out of "play to learn" and into "drill to learn" classrooms. Recess? Doesn't exist any more. Free play? Nope. Nap time? Forget it. Schools without passing test scores are being closed down, so if an administrator or school board member walks into a Kindergarten room and sees kids napping, eating a snack, or playing with blocks, that Kindergarten teacher gets fired - they're expected to work "bell-to-bell", despite the fact that there is NO research that backs up that practice for kids of that age. But the test is everything, so here we are. This is, of course, completely counter-productive. The brain learns at rest, and children develop understanding of themselves and others through play and imaginary narrative. By following the marching orders of the President and his education-goons, we're doing what we already know does not work. And that's what kills me. There's mountains of research and data out there about how to educate kids. WE KNOW HOW TO DO IT. But we're told not to do so, because real education is intangible. And moreso, real education is DANGEROUS. There's a reason tyrants always take out the scholars and the artists, first. I guess it comes down to this: Either we're completely ignorant on how to educate kids, or the system is specifically designed to prevent certain kids from receiving a quality education. Look at the difference in test scores between poor neighborhoods and rich neighborhoods, and you'll see the answer. ...Oh, jeez. I need to stop before I write an entire essay. I could go on for hours.
  17. At my previous school, I ran a department based around designing interventions for kids who weren't learning in the traditional classroom setting, as well as serving as a mentor both to new teachers and to the more "different" students. But then my entire department's funding was cut by the feds, thanks to the sequestration in January (you know, where the Republicans and Democrats teamed up and decided to say "Screw underprivilaged school kids, we're making a statement about the deficit!" and cut funding to everything that helps poor kids?). So, I jumped in my car and started driving around to find a new school, with no idea of where I'd go or where I'd live, carrying nothing but the clothes on my back and my laptop. I'm now teaching middle school science in a very rural area in the South. That's right - I went from gangsters to tractors.
  18. Haven't done this in a while, haha. Anyway, wrote this one in my head while homeless and drifting across America looking for a new place to live.
  19. [Two Weeks in August] Be aware: Before you stands the unlikeliest resolver Unmoved by understanding yet ever undercover Socio, some venture, but pathos suits the suffix Rust-born and wind-thrown, cicada-song or distant traffics? Be distant: This one runs headlong ignoring signs of safety Movements shared through rearview seizures, turns of phrase And unwashed faces gazing blankly back in recognition Fellows, comrades, frauds, a fresh turn of the ignition Gone and gone again and gone. Be: The simplest directives and the thorns of blooming carnage Far more likely tap the vitals, sound the horns, run down the foxes Striving to leave and let live unnoticed Reign in the tamed absurdist But the trembling of the hands may not equate with “nervous”, Be aware.
  20. Zero Tolerance policies are ridiculous. Teachers know it, principals know it, parents know it, and students know it. No one legitimately thinks it's a good idea to expel a kid for folding a paper ninja star, sucking on a cough drop, or drawing a picture of a gun. This, much like standardized testing, is an example of politicians with no knowledge of pedagogy, child psychology, or educational theory sticking their noses into education. Everyone thinks "Hey, I went to school, so I have an informed opinion on education policy!" No one says that about other professions - "Hey, I've been to the hospital, so I should have a say in how this surgery is performed!" If you're concerned about two kids pointing markers at each other and making "pow-pow" noises, you simply pick up TWO markers and sneak up behind them, telling them to drop them to the floor and kick them over to you. Granted, this sometimes turns into an imaginary Mexican standoff, initiating a rather surreal scene in which two fifth graders and an adult face each other down with Crayola products, but you get some pretty interesting improv that way. What I'm trying to say is, you can either toe the line and follow the BS policies from some politicians who don't even know the names of the kids whose lives they're playing with, or you can pick up some marker-guns and be the Quentin Tarantino of pretend-time. You know my choice.
  21. I saw this article today, and thought of you guys: http://www.cracked.com/quick-fixes/4-big-reasons-orson-scott-goddamn-lunatic/
  22. The only problem with the theater-hopping plan is that if Ender's Game bombs, there's no chance of ever getting a Speaker for the Dead movie. Granted, that's not very likely anyway, given the nature of that book, but still. OSC: The man wrote an entire series about empathy and striving to understand and love those whose behavior and thought patterns are different from one's own, and completely missed his own damn point on a spectacular level. Dude's a walking tragedy.
  23. I used to love watching The Monkees reruns as a kid. Also, Goin' Down is one of my all-time favorites. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDCtBBb0Cx4
  24. Aaaand I just noticed that FreeThinker beat me to this one. http://forums.awesomedude.com/index.php?showtopic=7338 That'll teach me to post before reading. Heh.
  25. I thought this was pretty awesome.
  • Create New...